Senator Launches Probe to See If WH Violated Hatch Act to Promote Climate Agenda

Craig Bannister | August 14, 2013 | 3:37pm EDT
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U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (O-Okla.) has launched a probe into potential Hatch Act violations by the White House in its climate agenda advocacy.

Inhofe today sent letters to EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding and White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Nancy Sutley probing apparent coordination between CEQ and the Organization for Action (OFA) on events today pushing the president's climate change agenda and the potential violation of the Hatch Act.

According to the Hatch Act, federal employees in the executive branch, except certain designated officials such as the President or Vice President, are prohibited from engaging in political campaign activities.

In the letters, Inhofe wrote: "The OFA activities are clearly political in nature, solely targeting Republican members of the House and Senate for campaign purposes." "Cleary OFA is now engaging in political activities and it appears as though they are closely coordinating efforts with EPA and CEQ, negating their independence."

On Tuesday, OFA announced a list of climate change deniers in Congress and said the organization will soon be holding events in congressional districts of many of these lawmakers. The day following the announcement, the White House held environmental advocacy events in Providence, RI and Hartford, Conn.

"The Obama Administration's apparent coordination with the campaign arm and the White House leave me no choice but to investigate," said Inhofe.

"Just as the OFA has called for light to be shed on members of Congress not in lockstep with the President's agenda, I will work to shed light on the coincidence of coordination in the Obama Administration we continue to see unfold," Inhofe said.

The full text of the letters can be accessed by clicking here and here.

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